Overcoming ostrich mindsets — looking to the future

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Contour Crafting
Can you apply trends in augmented reality, BIM and 3D printing to your design and bidding process?

Ostriches_cape_point_cropped_2I suppose the poor ostrich doesn’t get the respect it deserves. We often use it as an allegory for refusing to see what is around us, but the African bird has survived through eons and in fact is acutely aware of its surroundings. Ostriches would certainly not bury their heads in the sand if a predator is anywhere nearby.

Nevertheless, there are times when we choose to fail to see problems right in front of us, or (more challenging) industry trends that require new perspectives and approaches. Sometimes we have the answer and miss it. Consider, for example, Kodak’s early innovations in digital cameras — to be knocked off by new technology (and these digital camera makers are now facing extinction, as well, as the cellphone replaces the stand-alone camera.)

Media businesses and publishers also have these challenges. The Internet has broadened the scope and diversity of journalistic expression, but also torn away the economic foundations of many conventional publishers. We need to be resourceful to survive; enhancing our relationship qualities as we focus on delivering a diversified underlying value proposition to clients.

Architectural, engineering and construction practices also will likely see revolutions in the near future. I’m not sure if the concept of “printing a building” will ultimately be viable, but am confident that the concrete industry is hopeful it will be successful. See this fascinating video from the University of California about robotic construction, or Contour Crafting.

Meanwhile, those big African birds, though threatened like many other species, have adapted to their environment.  We can certainly “bury our heads in the sand” if we are digging out some food — but let us be aware (to stretch the allegory perhaps too far) about the shifting sands around us.  Change is happening.

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